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What Are the Best Items to Sell On Etsy?

11 min read

When it comes to the internet’s largest E-commerce marketplaces, Etsy holds a unique position. Etsy specializes in the sale of handmade custom crafts, decor, tools, and more. Rather than selling everyday mass-produced commercial goods, Etsy has a niche market for custom items. With a detailed Seller Policy with stipulations about manufacturing requirements on the platform, Etsy is committed to its goal.

For small businesses that specialize in selling handmade or custom items, Etsy is an ideal marketplace. There are millions of eager customers looking to buy on the site already. Becoming a seller on Etsy gives businesses and artisans access to that huge international consumer base.

That is not to say selling on Etsy is always straightforward or that anyone can make money doing it. In many cases, the question of what to sell on Etsy is more important than how to sell it. With Etsy’s huge marketplace comes steep competition. Certain products stand out among the rest and sell better than others. If your goal is to make as much money as possible on Etsy, understanding what to sell is important. To make things easier, here is a quick guide on the best things to sell on Etsy.

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What Can I Sell on Etsy?

To start, let’s review the type of items you are allowed to sell on Etsy. Taking that question literally, Etsy provides a detailed Prohibited Items Policy detailing what items can’t be sold. This policy covers many of the areas you would expect it to: no hazardous materials, nothing that incites or promotes violence or hate, no animal products, etc. Much of this policy is straightforward and easy to adhere to for most sellers.

Where Etsy’s seller requirements get more difficult is in their manufacturing requirements. Etsy has a firm requirement that all products sold on its marketplace must be handmade. However, in their own words, “handmade is a spectrum.” To reflect this, Etsy has two categories of sellers on its marketplace: makers and designers.

A maker is a seller who physically makes all the items listed for sale in their shop. A maker might create jewelry, pottery, paintings, engravings, etc. Whatever they sell is handmade from start to finish before being shipped out as a final product.

A designer creates an original design for their products but relies on production assistants to craft the final product. Designers are permitted to sell on Etsy as long as they provide information about their production partners.

The purpose of Etsy’s handmade requirements is to ensure that all products remain high-quality and custom-made. Etsy does not allow mass-produced or generic items to be sold on its platform. Read the complete Etsy Handmade Policy for more information.

Now that you know what you can sell on Etsy, let’s take a look at the best things to sell on Etsy.

Top Selling Items on Etsy

As you might expect from Etsy’s goals and reputation, the best-selling items on Etsy are often heavily personalized and unique. Many Etsy shoppers turn to the site when searching for unique gifts for friends and family, or for creative practical items. The range of items that can sell in high volume on Etsy is immense.

If your item is reasonably priced and attractive to buyers, they will buy it. With that said, there are certain types of items that tend to perform the best overall. When considering the best things to sell on Etsy, it is easiest to break items down into categories. Here are some of the categories of items that traditionally sell very well on Etsy.

Custom notebooks and journals

Etsy is a marketplace for people looking for personalization and creativity. When it comes to those two things, no hobby is more satisfying than writing. As a result, Etsy is a great place to sell custom or handmade notebooks and journals. The Etsy user base is filled with individuals who love to write. Having a custom journal to house and grow that writing is always more inspiring than a simple store-bought college-ruled notebook. Designing custom notebooks is also relatively easy, affordable, and requires minimal resources.

Stickers

Another product that is inexpensive to produce, stickers are a great item to add to your store. Creatively-inclined sellers can design all sorts of unique and interesting stickers that Etsy shoppers will love. Stickers can also be sold as practical items in many cases. Customers might buy custom stickers to be used as labels, signage, event invitations, or more. Take a look at some of Etsy’s top-selling stickers for ideas and inspiration.

Printable items/Digital artwork

Stickers can be considered a popular subcategory of digital artwork. However you categorize these items, printable and digital designs are huge sellers on Etsy. This, again, is a product that can have both practical and creative purposes. Many Etsy shoppers purchase digital artwork because it will look great as decor in their home or office. They also purchase digital artwork because it would make a great gift for somebody else, too. Others purchase these products for signs, graphics, and more.

Selling digital artwork also has a major advantage for Etsy sellers because it does not need to be shipped. Digital artwork is instead shared as a downloadable file or template. This reduces shipping costs to 0, making it a great way to save on fees and maximize profits.

Handmade jewelry

When you think of Etsy, custom jewelry is probably one of the first item categories that come to mind. So it’s no surprise that handmade jewelry is one of the top-selling items on Etsy. Jewelry is an extremely diverse category of products. People might buy rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and much more. Jewelry can be purchased for a wide range of occasions, from birthdays and holidays, to anniversaries and special events.

Manufacturing handcrafted jewelry is not quite as straightforward as stickers and notebooks, of course. Jewelry can be more expensive and time-consuming to make. But the huge market for custom jewelry on Etsy also makes it one of the most profitable categories on the platform.

Home decor

Home decor is another staple of the Etsy marketplace. Again, home decor is an extremely broad category. This could be bedding, wall decor, plant stands, vases, or other such crafts.

Home decor can also cater to a variety of tastes, preferences, and needs. For many Etsy users, home decorating represents an extremely satisfying creative outlet. Your home is where you spend the majority of your time. Making this space feel unique and comfortable is an ideal creative endeavor. Handmade custom home decor on Etsy is a great way for shoppers to find interesting items that suit their aesthetic preferences.

Cosmetics

The cosmetics industry is going through a bit of a revolution at the moment. Many shoppers are seeking out alternatives to mass-produced and potentially-harmful cosmetic products. Outside of major cosmetic labels, Etsy is one of the world’s leading retailers for cosmetics today.

Customers can trust Etsy sellers to sell unique, organic cosmetic products that are safe, sustainable, and top-quality. While this is a highly profitable category on Etsy, it is also a difficult one to get into. There are very high standards for producing and selling organic cosmetic products. Production is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. But if you have experience with cosmetics, this could be a great way to find success on Etsy.

Wedding and event decorations

The availability of custom decor on Etsy has been a tremendous blessing for wedding and event planners everywhere. Etsy has made it easier than ever to create custom invitations and decorations for all kinds of events. Weddings are the primary event type to take advantage of Etsy’s endless creativity. But birthdays, family reunions, holiday parties, and more can all be made brighter with custom decorations from Etsy.

Posters and artwork

Last but not least, there is always a place on the Etsy marketplace for original artwork. Etsy is ultimately a place for artisans and artists to sell their creative wares online. Sometimes it really is as straightforward as selling your artwork as it is. Many users love to buy original artwork for their homes as posters or wall hangings to add a unique, creative flare to their living space.

Selling artwork on Etsy is not for everyone, of course. But for those who are artistically inclined, this can be one of the most satisfying ways to turn your passion into a revenue stream.

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Sell on Etsy

If you want to sell an item that does not fit into any of these categories, don’t worry. There is plenty of room on Etsy for other items and categories. That is one of the biggest appeals of Etsy for shoppers and sellers alike. Ultimately, the best things to sell on Etsy are high-quality, interesting custom-made items. If items are compelling and well-marketed, you should find success as an Etsy seller.

And if you want to optimize your Etsy store, Ecwid can help with that as well.

Do you want to know more about selling on Etsy?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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